Meghan Markle’s first Trooping the Colour was momentous for so many reasons.
From allegedly breaking royal protocol by wearing an off-the-shoulder dress, to making her first appearance on the balcony at Buckingham Palace alongside the royal family, Meghan first Trooping the Colour was idyllic.
But how does it compare to Princess Diana’s first appearance at Trooping the Colour back in 1981?
While Meghan has recently returned from her honeymoon with Prince Harry, having gotten married on May 19, 2018, Princess Diana made her debut at Trooping the Colour on June 13, 1981. At the time, Diana was just 19-years-old—just weeks later, Diana and Charles would get married, on July 29, 1981 at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
As Prince Charles’s fiancée, Diana broke royal protocol, just as Meghan has on many occasions—usually, Trooping the Colour, much like other royal events, has a strict “no ring, no bring” policy. As Diana and Charles’s wedding was merely weeks away, the Queen appears to have made an exception.
Prince Charles rode on horseback at Princess Diana’s first Trooping the Colour, so she rode in a carriage with her brother-in-law, Prince Andrew. According to Good Housekeeping, Princess Diana wore a stunning “custom Bill Pashley blue floral suit and matching fascinator” to the event:
Conversely, as Prince Harry isn’t yet a colonel, he arrived at 2018’s Trooping the Colour with his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex:
And per Good Housekeeping, Princess Diana’s first Trooping the Colour was incredibly eventful, because “17-year-old Marcus Simon Sarjeant began firing pistol blanks at Queen Elizabeth, then 55, while she was riding horseback along the Mall on her way to the ceremony.”
He was subsequently arrested and charged with treason, but his actions meant that 1981’s Trooping the Colour was more than a little shocking. Queen Elizabeth II apparently continued to ride in the procession, even after the fake shots had been fired.
Basically, Meghan’s first Trooping the Colour was a lot less scary than Princess Diana’s, but both members of the royal family looked flawless, and appeared to enjoy their induction into one of the royal family’s most important rituals.
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